Mark McDonald

Mark McDonald
Music Performance Instructor

BMus (Queen’s), MMus, ArtDip, DMus (McGill)

Area of expertise


Areas of research and creative activity

Mark McDonald has performed extensively around the world having participated in several international organ competitions including Musashino-Tokyo (2017) and the Arp Schnitger (3rd prize, 2014) He has been a featured artist in several international festivals and series including the Annual Festivals of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, the nouvellegeneration.orgue series at St. Joseph’s Oratory (Montreal), and the Pacific Baroque Festival in Victoria. Notable collaborations include performances and recordings with Cirque du Soleil, NYO Canada, Victoria Baroque, and the highly-acclaimed Music for the Pause series. His doctoral research on the music of avant garde composer Bengt Hambraeus was published in 2017 and highlights the composers’ relationship to historical performance practice through a study of his Livre d’orgue (1981) and the ground-breaking Hellmuth Wolff organ in McGill University’s Redpath Hall.

Courses taught at UVic

  • MUS 140-440 Individual tuition (organ)
  • MUS 245-545 Performance seminar

Brief biography

Organist and harpsichordist Mark McDonald is recognized for his sensitive interpretations of a wide range of repertoire and styles from early music to the avant garde.

He holds degrees and diplomas in organ and harpsichord performance from McGill University, Queen’s University and the University of the Arts Bremen. His teachers have included David Cameron, Hans Davidsson, Hans-Ola Ericsson, Hank Knox, John Grew and Harald Vogel. He has taught courses in theory and musicianship at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, the McGill Conservatory, and in church music history the Montreal Diocesan Theological College. He was lead faculty and administrator of the McGill Student Organ Academy and the RCCO Student Organ Academy and he has served on the administration of the Lynnwood Farnam Organ Competition and the highly acclaimed Canadian International Organ Competition.

Spending many of his formative years as a musician in Montreal, Mark has held positions at the Church of St. James the Apostle, Christ Church Cathedral, St. James United Church and Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom. He moved to the west coast of Canada in 2019 to join the staff at Victoria’s Christ Church Cathedral where he serves as Assistant Director of Music. He has taught at the University of Victoria since 2021.

Selected publications and recordings

Additional links